Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The most prominent of the first settlers was C.M. du Plooy who claimed a farm of about 160 km², called it Elandsheuwel ("Hill of the Eland"). He gave plots of land and communal grazing rights on this farm to other Voortrekkers in return for their labour in building a dam and an irrigation canal. This collection of smallholdings was later given the name of Klerksdorp in honor of the first landdrost (magistrate) of the area, Jacob de Clerq.
In August 1886 gold was discovered in the Klerksdorp district as well as on the Witwatersrand, which lies about 160 km to the east. As a consequence, thousands of fortune-seekers descended on the small village, turning it into a town with 70 taverns and even a stock exchange of its own.
However, the nature of the gold reef demanded expensive and sophisticated equipment to mine and extract the gold, causing the majority of diggers to move away in the late 1890s and leading to a decline in the gold mining industry.
Klerksdorp today is a city with more than 50,000 inhabitants. It is still one of the hubs of the South African gold mining industry, although its importance has been decreasing in recent years. In addition, it is also a large uranium producer.
The Klerksdorp district is also a major player in South African agriculture; important crops that are farmed in the district include maize, sorghum, groundnuts and sunflowers. Klerksdorp has the largest maize silo in the South Africa as well as the largest agricultural cooperative in the southern hemisphere, the Senwes Cooperative .
- Mining shafts excavated in the 1880s.
- The Klerksdorp Museum . It was built in 1891 as a prison and served as such until 1973. The house of the warden hosts period exhibitions.
- The Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve , located about 15 km from Klerksdorp. It has 30 species of game and 150 species of birds.
- The Oudorp hiking trail. It is a 12 km long trail and winds its way through the oldest parts of the town.
- Goudkoppie (Gold Hill) is the city's latest tourist attraction. It is situated near both the N12 highway and the Johannesburg-Cape Town railway line.
- The Oppenheimer Stadium in Orkney will host some games of the 2010 Football World Cup .
Other towns in the Klerksdorp district
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details